3 Tips for Great Software Implementations from #DTHR

Posted by Mary Sue McClintock on Tue, Dec, 16, 2014 @ 10:12 AM

In case you missed it, our very own CEO, Sean Pomeroy, was recently on the DriveThru HR podcast, where he covered a number of interesting topics regarding HR technology with hosts Bryan WempenNisha Raghavan and William Tincup including the false promise that alluring technology can often make, how to create team chemistry beyond technology, and the desire to get his open weekends back after having kids. But what we really loved was how he gave simple, smart tips about great software implementations (after all, that’s what we do).

Vintage-Car

 

1. Don’t Fall for the New and Shiny

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the show was people need to begin stepping away from the idea that a piece of technology alone will solve a problem, and that once they have the latest and greatest in whatever process they’re trying to optimize, the solutions will quickly arise. Your search should begin with a solution to a problem and how technology can help fix that, not what new piece of tech you can use.

Share on LinkedIn"I remember someone telling me one time, ’nobody buys a drill because they want a drill. Nobody says gosh, I want the best drill ever! They buy a drill because they want a hole.’" - Sean Pomeroy, (@Sean_Pomeroy)

 

2. Don’t Always Aim For Perfection 

One of the biggest issues the hosts cited when a group begins using a new technology is having to repeat part of the process after the company has become more well-acquainted with the tools. The core of the problem is communication, and neither the client nor the vendor are really at fault. Clients don’t always begin a project with a perfect strategy and can lose sight of the goal after seeing the bells and whistles. Better best practices brief, asking questions about what the client wished they had. The goal of perfection can interfere with the actual task.

Share on LinkedIn: “We’re getting ready to record a video library. We already have a lot of our items… and instead of trying to get everything perfect... I’m having my team try to have more fun with it. It’s okay if you cough in the middle, it’s okay if you have verbal slip here or there, or if something’s not perfect, and so I think these things help build a relationship between parties." - Sean Pomeroy, (@Sean_Pomeroy)

 

3. Establish a Human Relationship With Clients 

Vendors want to be considered collaborators, not just vendors. Can they ever become trusted advisors? According to Sean, they can. He looks at the process of a new hire as dating, and you have to give and take in a relationship. Visibility Software has what we call outbound tech support, where we ask a client if they have any questions about the software, or if anything’s bothering them. By letting the client know that the relationship works both ways, we're able to foster better relationships with our clients and earn their trust. Don’t just keep selling to them. Don’t confuse support with sales.

"As a software technology user, I get tired of having an account person call me every month, and I start to say I have problem — ‘oh, you can open a case, you can call, you can do that’ Then I get a new guy for the tools we’re using every six months and he says ‘oh, do you have twenty minutes to meet?’ and the first thing that he asks is 'how many more user seats do you need for this month, or this year?'” - Sean Pomeroy, (@Sean_Pomeroy)

 

Finally, the DTHR crew asked Sean where he thought HR technology would go in the next year. For us, it’s becoming apparent that LMS is up and coming, while ATS are already established. There’s also the historic battle between staffing ATS and ATS, which has now become a battle of auxiliary features. With more auxiliary technology, like posting and social media tools, cropping up everywhere, it’s becoming clear that these technologies don’t have core aspects of the trade like applicant or requisition management. The end result ATS will try to implement the auxiliary features and the auxiliary features will try to build a proper ATS. More mergers, more consolidations, more acquisitions, more startups are a guarantee as well, which, in Sean’s mind, will make for a much more competitive and interesting field.

 

See-Our-Solutions

Tags: Best HR Software, best software service, best software, Sean Pomeroy, #DTHR

Support that Supports

Posted by Maren Hogan on Tue, Aug, 13, 2013 @ 10:08 AM

small  4941547991We've talked a lot on this blog about choosing the right software for your company's needs. The software should be able to grow, be cost effective and actually work. One of the main considerations however should be support. Technical support, upgrades and updated knowledge libraries are all so very important in order to have effective and relevant software. Even the best software in the world is useless if no one knows how to use or update it. Great support looks a little like this…

Proactive

Does your tech support call you? Leading software companies (like us) have realized the importance of offering relevant and timely tech support. Industry leaders in the software business have taken notice of customer feedback, and started to make their support proactive. Visibility has become known for it's proactive tech support by offering features like "touch base calls". These calls are designed to faciliate the proper use of the software through ongoing training and support. Instead of waiting for the call from the frantic client trying desperately to get something done in a timely manner, proactive support answers the questions and fixes the problems ahead of time.

Optimized

As clients use the software, they find their own ways of doing things. These aren't necessary the ways in which the software was designed to be used, therefore it is not being used optimally. Vendors who offer great support want clients to use the software to the best of its potential. Happy clients are retained clients, and this happens through the optimization of the software. "Wow, I didn't know it could do that!" is phrase that a good tech support representative should hear often.

Transparent

Have you ever had a question about your software, picked up the phone, and waded through a 5 minute-long automated system, only to end up with a sales person charging you for the call and the support? This is an all too common frustration with software support. When choosing your software, be sure to ask questions about support and it's associated costs. Will each call cost me? How much? What if the matter isn't resolved? Ongoing support should be a part of the package.

On the Line

Zendesk has a nifty infographic on the importance of call centers in customer care. An overwhelming majority of customers prefer to contact customer service by phone, 79% in fact. Having software support that actually answers the phone is vital to productivity and sanity. Although most companies can't answer the phone 24/7, there should be some type of support available around the clock.  

photo credit: Vincent_AF via photopin cc

Tags: cyber recruiter, cyber train, Best HR Software, best software service, Custom applications, LMS, best software

Time-To-Fill is Going Down the Tubes

Posted by Maren Hogan on Wed, Aug, 07, 2013 @ 10:08 AM

small__91147636The world of job searching is getting tougher for candidates. It is taking employers longer and longer to pull the trigger on new hires. Even great candidates with all the right skills and values are left wondering and waiting by the phone. According to research done by economists Steven J. Davis, Jason Faberman and John Haltiwanger, vacancies are staying open far longer than they used to. In 2009, the average time-to-fill was 15 business days, compared to today’s 23 days. Time to fill is such an important metric in HR and recruiting, so why is this process taking even longer?

They’re Shaking in Their Boots Over Bad Hires

As we steadily pull through the tail end of this recession, a lot of employers are working in fear of bad hires more than they were before the hard times hit. As the recession took hold, companies were conducting mass layoffs and tightening belts whereever cuts could be made. This mentality is holding on strong. The cost of high turnover can end up crippling companies. For small businesses (less than 65 employees) the cost of each turnover is about $8,000. Recruiters and hiring managers are so reluctant to hire quickly because they’re worried about hiring poorly.

Skills vs Openings

It is also theorized that this lengthier hiring process can be attributed to a disconnect of skills between the 4 million job openings vs the 12 million unemployed. Especially in fields that require higher skills there seems to be a gap between demand and skilled candidates. Taking a look at what industries are growing vs the skills of the emerging workforce presents us with one of the attributes of this slowing process. There seem to be too many of the wrong candidates.

What is it Costing HR to Keep them on the Hook?

Advertising the position, background checks, screening and interviewing all take time and money. The internal recruiting time per hire is usually anywhere from 30-100 hours. Multiply that by the hourly rate and that ends up being quite a bit of money. When candidates are now expected to go through multiple rounds of interviews and seemingly pointless tests, this process is taking far longer than it should. With pressure from higher ups to hold off on the hire until the perfect candidate is found, recruiters and hiring managers don’t have much of a choice.

What is This Doing to the Candidate Experience?

With this lengthier hiring process and reluctances to actually hire, candidates are loosing time, money and patience. In this NY Times piece we follow Paul Sullivan, a video editor looking for a new job. During his sixth interview he is actually approached by a security guard who had seen him there so many times that he thought he was an employee who kept forgetting his security badge. Sullivan said, “He couldn’t believe I was actually there for another interview. I couldn’t either! But then I put on a happy face, went upstairs and waited for another round of questions.”

Maren Hogan, HR pro weighs-in on the trials of the hiring process: “Let's just say, burnout is common. But candidate experience is (and always will be) a huge part of the recruiting and retention process. And one of the ways that you can make your candidates' experience really amazing, is to NOT WASTE THEIR TIME!”

Open communication about positions and actual needs with the hiring manager can save everyone a world of wasted time and resources. These lengthier hiring processes aren’t really helping anyone. Candidates and hiring managers alike are becoming more frustrated with this reluctance to pull the trigger.

 

photo credit: scragz via photopin cc

Tags: cyber recruiter, Applicant tracking software, Best HR Software, best software service, candidates, company culture, employer brand, Career Page, Custom applications, applicant management, applicant experience

Training and Retention

Posted by Maren Hogan on Thu, Jul, 25, 2013 @ 10:07 AM

small  5762454084 300x177They go hand-in-hand, or at least they should. No one wants to be the employee who doesn’t know their job, and no one wants to work with that employee. Initial training, as well as continued training, gives employees a sense of worth and the chance to excel in their position.  Engagement and pride in a job well done is a big part of why people decide to stay with a given company, and this all starts with proper training.

People want to work with capable people.

Organizations are a machine, when one part is broken, the rest of the work is affected, and may even come to a halt. When an employee’s work is impeded by another’s lack of knowledge, nothing but a bottleneck of work will ensue. This can rarely be chalked up to a “bad hire”, but rather bad (or no) training.

When an employee isn’t given the tools and knowledge to complete tasks, it is the organization that has failed, not the employee.

People want to be capable.

There are few things more frustrating than not knowing what you’re doing, what is expected of you and how to deliver it. Good training resolves all of these problems. Everyone worth hiring wants to be good at what they do, but they will rarely achieve this without training.

Training should start the day of hire, and never end. Formal training should be considered an ongoing process and a true investment in employees. A survey on the business case for employee engagement sites employee improvement in skills as the number two motivator of employee engagement. Number 7 was an employee’s ability to grow and advance in the company.

Employees are thirsty for this knowledge, and it is ultimately what keeps them satisfied and engaged. 80% of employees asked about what why training is important answered, “I can do my job better”.

Good training means higher productivity.

This is a no-brainer. When employees know what they’re doing, they’re more likely to do it. For newly hired staff, training during orientation and onboarding means that they can start being proficient at their job quickly. If training is delayed, or not present at all, the productivity of this new hire starts quite low. This missed opportunity sets the bar at poor level.

Ongoing training for employees keeps them up-to-date on industry trends, policies and new technologies. Assume that no one is in charge of seeing to it that your staff is informed of these things. A business can fall to the wayside pretty quickly in a fast paced environment.

A few words from Susan Heathfield on training and retention:

"The American Society for Training and Development has traditionally recommended a minimum of 40 hours of training a year for every employee. This is consistent with the emphasis employees place on the opportunity to grow and develop both their skills and career while in your employ. The chance for ongoing development is one of the top five factors employees want to experience at work. In fact, the inability of an employee to see progress is an often-cited reason for leaving an employer."

photo credit: Enokson via photopin cc

Tags: Best HR Software, best software service, company culture, employer brand, LMS, best software

The Importance of Onboarding

Posted by Maren Hogan on Thu, Jul, 18, 2013 @ 22:07 PM

small 3434414425You've spent precious time recruiting and signing this new hire, and it's the all-important first day. Have you already dropped the ball? If you haven't organized and planned the onboarding process, then yes you have. Onboarding isn't simply orientation, it's more personal than that. Orientation is about the job, onboarding has more of a social aspect to it with a focus on the future and retention.

Have you even seen the random newb standing around the water cooler waiting for some sort of direction or interaction? Too often, new hires will spend the majority of their first week on the job wondering if anyone was made aware that they would be coming. It's hard to watch and even harder to experience. There's no better way to make someone feel awkward and unwanted than to skip the onboarding process.

An effective onboarding program can help you achieve company success, employee retention, increased ROI on hiring, and ensuring that your new employees are ready and excited to join the team. Consider jointly what your new employee needs from you, and what you need from your new employee.

Your candidates form an opinion about your company early on in the recruiting process. In fact, first impressions matter more than you probably think. According to a post on strategic employee onboarding, “New employees are most likely to leave a company within the first 18 months of their tenure, and 90% of new hires decide in their first 6 months on the job whether or not they're going to stay with the company.”

Onboarding shouldn't be seen as just another trend in HR, this is a vital part of the whole hiring process. Retaining employees does wonders for your bottom line, and an effective onboarding program is where the effort to retain begins.

Employee engagement should be another of the main objectives of your onboarding process. When a new employee is facilitated in building their network and becoming acclimated with their new surroundings, you are cultivating your company culture. This can be as simple as introducing the new employee to their co-workers. Perhaps there is someone that comes to mind who would do well as a welcome wagon type of person. The quicker you get this new employee feeling comfortable, the quicker you have a productive member of the team.

Engaging and creating a sense of value for the new employee helps everyone involved, from the new employee themselves, to the entire team. A cohesive work environment doesn't happen by accident, it needs some love to get where it needs to be. Lowering processing costs by ensuring compliance is yet another piece to the onboarding puzzle. When you have an actual planned process for onboarding, you are ensuring that each new hire gets the same treatment, receives the same information and this cuts down on annoying and costly redundancies. A streamlined process also ensures certain steps are taken in a timely manner. When you have an agreed upon process, you know what information should be shared and at what stage.

Following up with your new hire on a weekly, into a monthly basis is good practice to ensure that the process is going smoothly. The first week is vital, but following the progress of their acclimation shows them that they are working for a company that cares about their experience. It also helps you to figure out the strengths and flaws of your onboarding process.

Onboarding is worth the time you put into it. Taking the extra effort to acclimate your new hires can improve cohesiveness, get employees productive faster, cut down on costly turn over rates and overall make you look better at your job.

photo credit: notsogoodphotography via photopin cc

 

Tags: cyber recruiter, Applicant tracking software, Best HR Software, best software service, candidates, company culture, employer brand, applicant management, applicant experience